CAMH Looking for Action Against Student Misbehavior

By Michael Coughlin Jr.

During the Community Alliance of Mission Hill’s (CAMH) monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 17, Dave Greenup made a presentation outlining one of Mission Hill’s most significant issues, student behavior, and what to do about it.

Greenup, who is a 30-year resident of Mission Hill and a member of both CAMH and the Mission Hill Problem Properties Task Force, described just what his presentation was all about.

“The reason for this presentation is to document what’s going on with the student issues; we are all well aware of them, we want to create a call to action for the city and the universities,” said Greenup.

“We want to make actionable recommendations, you know we don’t want to leave it open to say, well here’s the problem go do something and then to entrust a working group, more than likely from the Community Alliance, to monitor and verify the results of what we’ve asked of the various departments,” Greenup continued.

To better understand the student issues plaguing the neighborhood, Greenup displayed a list of 911 calls made about loud parties and noise. This list revealed that over Halloween weekend last year (Oct. 27-30), 13 unique 911 calls were made.

Moreover, over Saint Patrick’s Day weekend this year (Mar. 17-19), nine unique 911 calls were made. In total, there were over 300 unique calls made to 911 for loud parties in 2022.

It should be noted that Greenup indicated that multiple 911 calls for the same property were only counted once. “Unique calls and I’ll mention that, in that, if I called about 3 Folsom Avenue and two other people called about 3 Folsom, it’s only listed as one call,” said Greenup.

Not only did Greenup supply statistics to illustrate the problems the neighborhood is having with students, but he also presented emails from residents who have had students try to use the bathroom in their driveway and students having open fire pits.

Greenup also cited “nuisance properties,” 95 Calumet Street and 3 Folsom Avenue, both of which had nine 911 calls over 2022 and 2023, and 226 Calumet Street, which had eight 911 calls over the same period.

While Greenup acknowledged that existing systems are in place to help take action against these problems, he said they need some adjustment.

Some of the existing systems in place that, according to the presentation, need to be adjusted include the Boston Police Department’s (BPD) Community Liason and Northeastern University’s (NEU) Community Engagement Contact, both of whom are on medical leave, according to Greenup.

Moreover, Wentworth Institute of Technology’s (WIT) weekend ride-along detail, which Greenup indicated has not been staffed in over 10 weeks, and NEU’s Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCCR) which he called a failure were also mentioned as systems that need adjustment.

Greenup also indicated the need to adjust the Problem Properties Task Force, which former City Councilor Kenzie Bok was Chair.

“We did meet with our Councilor and other residents to design a system where we would be able to text a phone number and not necessarily depend on 911,” said Greenup.

“But we were told, after eight months, we were told that it was difficult to implement with no councilor in place.”

With all this being said, Greenup brought forth a detailed action plan as part of his presentation; some of the aspects of this plan are as follows. The action plan includes contacting At-Large City Councilors to get someone to chair the Problem Properties Task Force’s meetings and implement the aforementioned text system.

Another part of the plan would be to reach out to both the Presidents and Community Engagement teams of NEU and WIT to see if they can communicate to residents how the universities enforce things like off-campus code of conduct and much more.

Reaching out to City Departments to ensure things like rental registrations and red ticket payments are enforced and filing nuisance complaints against property owners who do not take action against parties was another aspect of the plan mentioned.

Furthermore, Greenup’s action plan brings forth the idea of creating a petition outlining the neighborhood’s desire for action on student issues which would be addressed to people like Mayor Michelle Wu, At-Large City Councilors, Presidents, and Community Engagement staff of NEU and WIT, and various city department heads.

Finally, other parts of the plan include circulating information to the media and having a CAMH working group monitor this process.

Seemingly, the only representative from either NEU or WIT present at this meeting was Michael FitzGerald, a Special Events Manager who is part of NEU’s City and Community Engagement team.

FitzGerald’s appearance seemed to be helpful in that he was able to listen to what residents of Mission Hill have been having to deal with and was able to answer questions.

Probably the most helpful aspect of FitzGerald’s appearance is that he indicated he would let John Tobin, the Vice President of City & Community Engagement at NEU, and David Isberg, Assistant Vice President know that there is a push to meet with them.

In what was an informative and detailed presentation, the call from residents for action on this subject was so clear that CAMH did not even have a vote on it.

“Initially, I had planned to have a vote whether we should take action, but I think there seems to be overwhelming agreement that this needs to be followed up,” said Martin Beinborn, CAMH’s President.

Overall, it seems like the neighborhood is ready for some action to quell student issues. “The people on this call or in the Harvard School of Public Health, we’re pissed off, and we want action,” said Greenup.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.